TE Gavin Escobar 2013 Projection
The Cowboys and all NFL teams seem unlikely to take anyone in the NFL’s supplemental draft, meaning the ‘Boys will be rolling with their seven draft picks and perhaps some undrafted free agents in 2013. I think these players need to have a big impact for the Cowboys to take down the division. I’ve already discussed how I think each of the offensive additions can help in the red zone; if Dallas can get 12 or so combined touchdowns from Gavin Escobar, Terrance Williams, and Joseph Randle, that’s a win.
If you look at the NFL betting lines, the Cowboys are right around 30:1 to win the Super Bowl. In comparison, the Giants are 18:1, the Redskins are 25:1, and the Eagles are 35:1, i.e. the guys in Vegas consider the ‘Boys the third-best team in the NFC East. If they’re going to compete, they need big-time play from the rookies.
Today, at NBC, I broke down the potential contributions from tight end Gavin Escobar:
As I mentioned in my projection for running back Joseph Randle, it’s difficult to project rookies in their first season because we have no background of relevant production to study. Any projection is a simple combination of opportunity and efficiency, but estimating both of those numbers can be difficult when we don’t know 1) how the player will be used and 2) how he’ll stand up against NFL competition.
The best way to project rookies, then, is to find similar players and study how they’ve performed in the past. I did that with Randle, comparing him to both Noah Herron and Alfred Morris. In my pre-draft scouting report on Cowboys second-round pick Gavin Escobar, I compared the pass-catching tight end to Dennis Pitta. Although Escobar doesn’t have great speed at 4.84, that actually isn’t strongly correlated with success for tight ends. Size seems to be more important, and Escobar has it at 6-6 with 34-inch arms.
In projecting Escobar for 2013, we have to determine if he’ll be the No. 2 tight end. If he’s not—which is very possible with James Hanna on the roster—then he’s not going to do much of anything as a rookie because he won’t see the necessary targets. For the sake of this projection, though, we’ll assume Escobar will win the backup tight end job.